During the day we accumulate tension in our body. Stress, the way we sit at our desks, some interactions we have, all of this can cause our muscles to become tense. Bringing our attention and our breathing back to our body can help us relax.
Once a week some colleagues and I meditate at work. I like to meditate together with other people, and I have always been lucky enough to find people who like to join me. In these sessions I offer a guided meditation, and I have noticed that when I start to speak, at the beginning of the meditation, my voice is not yet relaxed. I need to cough a bit, it doesn’t sound comfortable yet. After I have said a few words to guide us all back to our breathing, we are silent for five minutes. And then I say a few more words, but this time my voice has dropped a little. It sounds much more relaxed, no more coughing or clearing my throat.
Just by meditating for five minutes, my body has reached a level of relaxation that you can hear in my voice. I can also feel it in the rest of my body. My body is more heavy, feels more grounded. As if the energy has gone from being in or around my head to being inside of my body.
We are often rushing through our day. Being busy is almost something to be proud of. But it is so nice and also so important to take the time to relax. When you are relaxed everything seems just a little bit easier. And with a clear mind there is room for new and fresh ideas.
As software developers we are working with our mind all day long. It is easy to forget that we have a body. And it is practically impossible to prevent our muscles from cramping when we are watching a screen for so many hours. Besides that, I think most of us are so used to feeling a constant level of stress that we almost forget how it feels to be fully relaxed and present in our bodies. In fact, I find it sometimes hard to find the time and motivation to stop and relax when thoughts like ‘I just want to finish one more thing’, or ‘I almost found the solution’ enter my mind. Or, even harder to resist, all the ‘shoulds’ that we constantly hear. ‘I should do this, I should do that’.
But I have also noticed that taking the time to relax can save time as well. Because with a relaxed and clear mind, some problems solve themselves, and some solutions are easier to find.
A very nice way to completely relax your body is a so called ‘body scan’. A meditation you do while lying down on the floor or on your bed. During this meditation you mentally visit all the muscles in your body and relax them. I sometimes attend retreats where they call these meditations ‘Total relaxations’.
The following total relaxation meditation is really wonderful to listen to. It helps you not only to relax every muscle in your body, but also to fully appreciate all the parts of your body. Sr. Chau Nghiem’s voice radiates kindness and care. She interrupts the guided meditation two times with a short song, so you’ll wake up in case you fell asleep.
This is a live recording. If you listen very carefully, you can even hear a few people snore. Published on YouTube by: ulfullf